Beaver woes continue as losing streak hits five
Friday, January 28, 2011
Beaver woes continue as losing streak hits five

BEMIDJI, Minn – The Bemidji State University men’s basketball team fell 71-60 to University of Mary Friday at the BSU Gymnasium in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference game, pushing the Beavers’ losing streak to five. Mid-game lull and poor shooting led to the loss to the Marauders, extending their winning streak to seven. BSU shot less than 40 percent from the field for the second consecutive game and just the third time this season.

“I thought a huge point of the game was we had a chance to cut it to four (during the last few minutes of the first half), they made a good play on the block, came down and scored, we didn’t execute and they came down and scored again, six became 10 and we struggled to stay in the game,” said head coach Matt Bowen. “We get to where it is a five point game with three-four minutes to go and we don’t execute. We just don’t make the plays that need to be made to put us in a winning situation.”  

The Beavers (7-11, 4-10 NSIC) started hot from beyond the arc and jumped out to an 11-3 lead, but a 9-4 U-Mary (14-4, 10-4 NSIC) run put the score at 15-12 with 9:46 left in the first half.  The Marauders entered the game as the top team in 3-point shooting in the league, but started the contest cold from beyond the arc, going 1-for-6 in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Neither team scored for the first 2:30 out of the media timeout, then U-Mary went on a 6-2 run to take an 18-17 lead with 5:31 reading on the clock. The Marauders found their 3-point shot and continued to roll to their largest lead of the game at 29-24 with 1:36 left in the frame.

A sophomore Burke Lendl (G/F, St. Michael, Minn.) spin move into the lane cut the deficit to three at 29-26, but U-Mary countered with another 3-pointer at the buzzer to own a 32-26 lead heading into the locker room. The Marauders shot 50 percent in the half, as the Beavers’ poor shooting continued on from the last game going 9-of-26 (34.6%) from the field.

The first half trend continued into the second, as U-Mary hit shots and BSU struggled. The Marauders pushed the lead to double-digits early and it hovered around 10 for the first eight minutes of the half. BSU made it an eight-point game at 51-43 with 12:16 left in the half, but a 6-0 U-Mary run silenced the Beavers and gave it the largest lead of the game at 57-43 with 10:06 left.

BSU came out of a timeout with a purpose and went on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to eight at 59-51 with just under six minutes to play in regulation. The Beavers got it to six two minutes later, but a Anthony Moody jumper put it back to eight with 3:22 showing on the clock.

On the other end, junior Bryce Tesdahl (G, Crosby, Minn.) sent in back to six with two free throws, making the score 63-57. Again, U-Mary responded and the deficit was back to eight.

Sophomore Mason Walters’ (F, Milton, Wis.) second trey within four minutes got the Beavers to a five point deficit, now with 2:18 showing on the game clock. But that would be as close as the beavers would get. After a U-Mary free throw and a BSU turnover, the Marauders used up most of the shot clock and then did what they do best - knock down a 3-point dagger to push the lead to nine with 1:16 to play and put that game out of reach for the home team.

Junior James Ellisor (F, Glendale, Ariz.) and sophomore Lance Rongstad (G, Eleva, Minn.) each tallied 16 points to pace the Beavers. Senior Patrick Cassidy (F, St. Paul, Minn.) led both teams in rebounds with nine. Walters finished with 13 points and five rebounds. BSU shot 37 percent from the field, while U-Mary put up 50.9 percent from the field. The Beavers continued their dominance at the free throw line, going 14-for-14 to represent their No. 3 nationally ranking in the category. Rongstad was 6-of-6 from the charity stripe in the game. U-Mary’s Moody entered the game as the league leader in points per game and finished with 20 points, tying for a game-high.

The Beavers host University of Mary tomorrow at 6 p.m..

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).